The Year of The Fire Rooster Will Also Be The Year Of Solar Energy


The year 2017 is the year of the fire rooster and it could also will be the year of more efficient solar energy panels. This prediction is not just some sort of wishful tech thinking but one that is based on careful study.

It's possible to totally replace fossil fuel energy with solar energy said Sam Stranks, an experimental physicists from Cambridge University. However, he said that in order to do this, there should be a material that could make solar energy more efficient.

There is, of course, an existing solution to that dilemma with the use of perovskite layer, a mineral coating which is applied directly to solar cells to make them more efficient.

The use of perovskite layers in solar cells have become more popular compared to other materials, like the Cadmium Telluride, because it's rising to reach the levels of photon energy utilization similar to silicon and GaAs. It has one advantage, though, compared to the current leading technologies - processing cost is much cheaper, half of its silicon counterparts. That's because it does not need high-temperature processing.

Perovskite layers are created by mixing two readily available salts As a result, they are thinner and lighter that you can suspend them using a soap bubble.

Perovskite layers is fairly new and much of the research regarding its use for solar panels was led by Henry Snaith, an Oxford professor. After that, he established the Oxford Photovoltaics to commercialize the technology.

How does perovskite work?

According to Stranks, they take a silicon solar panel with a rate of 25 percent efficiency in converting sunlight to electricity. Then, they add a perovskite layer boosting the efficiency five times the original. Moreover, its efficiency has already hit 21 percent and is still improving in just a span of three years. Silicon, on the other hand, took 30 years to have this level of efficiency.

If that does not amaze you, then the fact that perovskite can be inkjet printed and that only half a cup of perovskite solution can power one home will blow you away. What more, perovskite has also the potential to revolutionize the next generation of LED lights because they are powerful light emitters.

If it's cheap and efficient, what's keeping perovskite from being commercially used? Stranks say that the biggest challenge is "providing the long-term reliable operating stability."

© 2024 University Herald, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Join the Discussion
Real Time Analytics